The Fremont City Council will be voting on whether to establish a Tobacco Retail License (TRL) Program for all tobacco retailers in the City of Fremont. The TRL program would require tobacco retailers to acquire and renew a Tobacco Retail License from the City annually; there may be a fee. Policies associated with the TRL may include a ban on all flavored tobacco products including menthol, and a set minimum pack size and/or set minimum price per pack of 20 cigarettes, 20 little cigars or 5 cigars, to discourage young adults from making these purchases.
The City of Fremont’s Human Relations Commission, which put forth the proposal to Council, recognizes the growing public health issue of youth access to, and use of, flavored tobacco products. In California it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or use tobacco products, yet 43% of Fremont’s high schoolers feel it’s fairly easy or very easy to get these products and 1 in 10 Fremont high schoolers have used an e-cigarette device*. The Truth Campaign’s national youth survey found that the majority of youth did not know that vape devices contained nicotine and 74% of youth procure these devices from local stores, compared to only 6% ordering online.
Vaping is a particular concern, since the amount of nicotine in electronic cartridges is equal to an entire pack of cigarettes. The JUUL device is an efficient vaping device, a user can inhale 200 puffs from one cartridge and vape in locations where smoking is not permitted, like classrooms, because of the JUUL’s inconspicuous design. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are often marketed and touted as smoking cessation devices; however the FDA has not approved them as such.
As of May 2019, 158 California municipalities have implemented Tobacco Retail Licenses, accompanied by ordinances that ban or restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products and devices, and established minimum prices and pack sized for combustible tobacco products. These efforts are meant to hold retailers accountable and to make it more difficult for youth to access these items.
* Source: California Healthy Kids Survey results for the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) (2017-2018)
Community Meeting and Survey
The City will be holding a community meeting focused on explaining the proposed TRL program and receiving input from the community. The meeting will be held on June 26, 2019 at 7pm in the Large Fire Training Room, rear entrance of Building A, City Hall 3300 Capitol Ave, Fremont CA 94538.
To assist the City Council in its deliberations, the City of Fremont is asking for input from residents and other community stakeholders. If you would like further context before responding to the survey, please review the staff report presented to City Council. Click here to review.